Maximum Ride (Manga)

Maximum Ride by James Patterson was adapted into manga format by Narae Lee. The series was recommended to me when I was looking for books about playing with genetics. I’ve been trying to familiarize myself with graphic novels and manga so I read the adaptation rather than the original text.

Maximum Ride is a genetically altered young woman with wings, raising younger teens and children who escaped with her from a facility known as “the school”. The youngest and most beloved child in her care is kidnapped, presumably by their creators and Max sets out to rescue her.

Maximum Ride (Maximum Ride, The Manga, #1)What I really liked was that Patterson didn’t just slap some wings on the kids. He explained how the structure of their bodies would need to differ from average humans in order to allow for flight.

What I didn’t like about this book was that people formed bonds way to fast. You don’t tell someone they are like a daughter to you the next day after you meet them and patch their bullet wound. You don’t mourn the loss of a sister you knew for a few hours. Maybe I misunderstood the time lapsing because I have a hard time with that in graphic novels, but if it was the way I perceived it it’s not realistic.

I have a hard time keeping track of a lot of characters when reading manga. Partly because they all look pretty similar to me, and partly because the way the speech bubbles are I can’t always tell who is talking, or who someone is referring to so it takes me much longer to learn the names of characters and understand their actions. This is more my own problem than a problem with this book, in fact I had to stop reading The Runaways by the brilliant Joss Whedon because I found the ensemble cast too much to handle.

I read the manga version in an hour, and it didn’t feel like a full novel. I’m curious how much of the story was cut out when it was adapted and how many volumes of manga make up the first original novel by Patterson. It was entertainment for an hour, but I don’t feel compelled to continue on with the series, at least not in manga form.


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